Cloudland Canyon State Park – Georgia
Located on the western edge of Lookout Mountain and considered one of Chattanooga’s best attractions, this is an incredibly scenic park offering vistas that will inspire romance. Hikers can explore a rim trail at the top of the canyon and enjoy views of uniquely shaped gorges, canyons, and numerous cascading waterfalls. Or, descend to the canyon floor via a series of staircases and explore in the shade of the canyon depths. Time your visit for March or April when you can enjoy a guided wildflower hike through Sitton’s Gulch. The Park also offers guided moonlight hikes and wild cave tours.
Overnight visitors looking for privacy and romance can choose from cottages near the canyon edge, or a modern campground that includes spacious, walk-in tent sites. For the outdoor enthusiast couples who want a romantic getaway that’s truly away, hike out to a wilderness campsite in a beautiful hemlock grove. All of these sites require a reservation.
If you love nature photography, take a moment to visit Cloudland Canyon’s Facebook Page to vote for your favorite 2015 photo. Voting will remain open until the end of February 2016 .
ROMANTIC CAMPING TRIP TIP #1: Get a babysitter!
White Mountain National Forest – New Hampshire
Lush forests, spectacular mountain views and convenience to outdoor recreation and scenic driving draw visitors from all over to the White Mountain National Forest. For the couples looking for a romantic getaway, don’t let its popularity deter you; there are nearly 800,000 acres of this popular forest spread across New Hampshire and western Maine. And if you love spotting wildlife on your outdoor adventure, you’ll be happy to know that the National Forest is home to many species of northern wildlife, including moose, white-tailed deer and black bear. Bring your binoculars so that you can spot the almost 200 species of birds, including the rare Bicknell’s Thrush, that live in the White Mountains.
At the base of New England’s tallest peak (Mount Washington), the historic Dolly Copp Campground is a large facility that accommodates a range of campers and provides access to some of the most popular hikes in the White Mountains. For couples seeking a rustic romantic getaway, the campground provides secluded tent sites, but there is also the option to choose developed RV sites. For a challenging mountain hike, take the Daniel Webster Scout Trail that provides panoramic views from the peak. Or, for almost guaranteed solitude, choose to go to the northeast side of Mount Washington and hike the Great Gulf Trail. Additionally, many more miles of trails can be accessed within a short drive of this campground. If you are a couple who love to fish on your romantic getaway, you can try your luck fishing for brook trout in the creeks and rivers. If you’re planning your getaway for the fall, don’t forget your camera as you’ll discover countless opportunities for viewing stunning and spectacular fall foliage.
ROMANTIC CAMPING TRIP TIP #2: Remember the mixed tapes we used to make? Create a playlist of romantic love songs and then listen to them while you’re enjoying your campfire.
Sand Flats Recreation Area – Utah
Sandflats Recreation Area is definitely a go-to spot for the adventurous couple. It’s world renowned for its combination of challenging hikes, cycling trails, jeep trails and truly awesome scenery. It has 9000 acres of stunning landscape situated near Moab, Utah at the heart of the Colorado Plateau. Natural features that will take your breath away include rock domes, fins and bowls, a colorful mesa of peaks to the east (the La Sal Mountains) and, cutting from east to west, the canyons of the Negro Bill and Mill Creek Wilderness Study areas. If you are an expert mountain biking duo, on this romantic getaway you will have the option of cycling either the Slickrock Bike Trail or the Porcupine Rim Trail, both of which are rated a class 4 on a scale of 1-4 with 4 being the most difficult.
Sand Flats has 120 campsites in Campground B that are open year round and are offered on a first-come, first served basis. Note that campers must bring in all their drinking water as water is not available.
ROMANTIC CAMPING TRIP Tip #3: Decorate your picnic table with a dozen red silk roses.
City of Rocks National Reserve – Idaho
The City of Rocks National Reserve is, despite its name, a wilderness reserve situated about 170 miles from Salt Lake City. It has been described as a “city of tall spires” that is renowned for its stark silence and inspirational landscapes. The scenery in the Reserve is exceptional, especially considering the remnants of the Old West that can be discovered. If you’re an outdoorsy couple who are also self-described history buffs, this might be the destination for you. Options for recreational activities include hiking, climbing, horseback riding, hunting, mountain biking and, predictably given the outstanding scenery, photography.
Camping in the City of Rocks National Reserve is popular between April and November, and reservations are recommended. There are 65 campsites, many of which are tucked in among huge, granite boulders. The City of Rocks Reserve also offers designated backcountry camping, and free camping is allowed as long as you get a signed permit from the ranger station or complete an online request.
ROMANTIC CAMPING TRIP TIP #4: Share an intimate meal by making chocolate fondue over the campfire, and feed each other your favorite foods, like strawberries and pretzels, dipped in melted chocolate.
Chugach State Park – Alaska
Chugach State Park in south-central Alaska is the third-largest state park in the U.S. Couples who love to hunt and fish make this park their destination of choice. Named after the Chugach Mountains, which dominate the stunning skyline around Anchorage, the Park is a playground for every kind of outdoor enthusiast. In addition to hunting and fishing, activities include hiking, rafting, biking, ATVing, kayaking, and alpine berry picking. For couples who love to hike, the trailheads offer accessible glaciers that make for a fun and unique type of outdoor adventure. There are over 280 miles of trails in the Park that range from beginner to advanced. If you are planning a winter getaway, activities include cross-country skiing, dog mushing, and snowmobiling. Of course, wildlife viewing and photography are pastimes that can be enjoyed twelve months of the year.
Camping in nearby Eklutna Lake Campground offers 50 campsites, with an additional 15 in a nearby overflow area about 40 minutes from downtown Anchorage. You can kayak and canoe on the lake or rent bicycles and explore the nearby trails. The lake’s turquoise waters and calm winds offer amazing serenity, and make for a perfect setting for your romantic getaway.
ROMANTIC CAMPING TRIP TIP #5: Search the Internet for a romantic poem, and then read it to your special someone while snuggled in front of your campfire.
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